Malthus and Boserup Population Theory

Topics: World population, Overpopulation, Population Pages: 3 (940 words) Published: November 29, 2012

The world population is the total number of living humans on the planet Earth. Recently the world has just hit over 7 billion people. It is expected that if the worlds population continues to increase at the rate it is doing now, then we will become overpopulated. Overpopulation is where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. There are various views on this population crisis and throughout this essay I will describe theses views.

Thomas Malthus was a pessimist , his theory is that the growth of human populations always tends to outstrip the productive capabilities of land resources. The result is that resources place a restriction on population growth and size and ‘positive’ checks (famine and disease) or preventative checks (limitation of family size) work to reduce population growth. Writing before the agricultural revolution, Malthus presumed that the productivity of resources were permanent because agricultural technology was largely fixed. From a Malthusian perspective, technology and environment (considered in terms of land resources) are therefore seen as independent variables that work together to determine the dependant variable of population, which he sees mainly in terms of population growth and size.

According to him, human society could never be perfected. He believed that man is a lazy animal, who would lead a satisfied life and procreate as long as his family was well fed. However, as soon as human population would feel constraints in food supply due to increase in population, he would again work hard to provide enough for his family. This might lead to an increase in agricultural production to provide for all, but at the same time man would be back to his complacent stage, where all his needs would be fulfilled. This would start the cycle of overpopulation and food shortage, all over again. Having been a clergy, Malthus validated his theory on moral grounds that suffering was a way of...
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